The new Automower 260 ACX automatic lawnmower from the Swedish lawn and garden equipment manufacturer Husqvarna makes the tedious job of mowing large lawns a thing of the past. As the largest in the Automower Series of lawnmowers for semi-professional use, the freely programmable machine is able to handle 6,000 square meters and has been developed specifically for the large lawns typically found in recreational areas or on company grounds.
To protect the expensive electronics from the effects of wind and weather, the designers at Husqvarna selected Luran S, the ASA (acrylic ester-styrene-acrylonitrile copolymer) from BASF, for the approximately 80-cm-long, almost square housing. This especially weather-resistant material withstands extreme heat and rain and the surface, here dark grey, retains its high-gloss appearance after years of use.
UV-stable, unpainted and easy-flowing
The first development partnership began in summer 2005 at the production facility in Aycliffe, United Kingdom, as Husqvarna was searching for a very special resin for a smaller mower version: The material needed to be injection moldable, UV-stabile, heat-resistant and exhibit the highest possible mechanical strength. "Originally, the Automower was produced using a standard resin and had to be painted to prevent the color from fading", said Geoff Nelson, BASF Account Manager for styrenic specialty plastics. "This is no longer necessary with the UV-stable Luran S, which means that the housing can be produced faster and more economically."
Since the Luran S 757 G grade used exhibits especially good flow characteristics, the large, complex lawnmower housing can be produced in a single step. While the upper part has a high-gloss appearance, the edges were designed intentionally to have a fine, matte texture. "BASF provided convincing technical support during the joint optimization phase", recalls Gary Blenkinsopp, Technical Manager at Husqvarna, Aycliffe.